By Julie Daniel
As featured in the Winter 2024 issue of Arabian Horse World.
A s a seasoned Arabian trainer who has attended the Scottsdale Show for over 18 years, I can tell you there’s nothing quite like it. In this guide, I’ll give you an insider’s perspective on what to expect, whether you’re attending as a spectator or stepping into the ring as a first-time exhibitor.
The Scottsdale Show is an extravaganza of equestrian excellence. With over 2,300 Arabian horses from around the world, it’s a spectacle that horse lovers won’t want to miss. But it isn’t just about the numbers. The event’s true beauty lies in its versatility and variety. The Arabian horse is one of the most versatile breeds, and the Scottsdale Show reflects this with a wide range of events. From Dressage to Western Pleasure, Jumping to Working Cow, Halter, Reining to Country, and English Pleasure, there’s a class for everyone. And don’t forget the highly anticipated Arabian Native Costume event!
But the show offers much more than just horse events; it’s a complete sensory experience. Expect to be dazzled by the shopping opportunities, with vendors selling everything from riding gear to fine art. You’ll also find a wide range of food options, so be sure to come with an appetite.
One of the highlights of the Scottsdale Show is the chance to explore the stables. Farms spend 2-3 days setting up their stabling areas, transforming them into temporary outdoor living spaces complete with decks, lounges, and kitchens. As you walk around, don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with the welcoming farm staff. They love sharing their stories and showing visitors around their impressive setups.
Finally, take some time to go behind the scenes and learn about the intricate logistics that make this event possible. It’s an eye-opening experience that will give you a deeper appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into every aspect of the show.
For first-time exhibitors, the Scottsdale Show can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. This is your chance to compete with some of the best horses in the world, vying for the coveted title of Champion at the Scottsdale Show.
Preparing for the show takes months of hard work, from training your horse to planning the long journey to Scottsdale. Many farms travel thousands of miles with trailers full of their beautiful Arabian show horses, a trip that requires careful preparation to ensure the horses’ well-being.
Once you’ve arrived and set up your stables, it’s time to focus on the competition. The pressure might be high, but remember, this is a learning experience. Every moment in the ring adds to your knowledge and skills as a horseman or horsewoman.
The Scottsdale Advantage
The Scottsdale Show is held in one of the most desirable locations for equestrian events. The weather is typically fantastic, making it a pleasure to compete and explore. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the stunning Arizona landscape, which only adds to the magic of the event.
When I first traveled to the show from Michigan, I was struck by the beauty of the location and the sense of community among the attendees. Now I have been living in Scottsdale for nine years, where we run a very successful training and riding academy. The area out here is just addicting! Whether you’re a spectator or an exhibitor, the Scottsdale Show offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Arabian horses.